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A closer look at George Hutchinson

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  • Originally posted by caz View Post
    It wouldn't matter where they all lived
    I think that does matter, especially when taken in combination with other biographical/geographical factors that candidate "X" would share with Dorset Street Hutch.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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    • It's nice to see that nobody seems to have noticed that this...


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      ...isn't Maybrick's "K"

      It belongs to this man...


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      Frederick Gehringer

      I have another ongoing thread relating to this particular person of interest.

      It's also interesting that I tried the same thing on a thread dedicated to Maybrick, and nobody noticed there either.


      The point I am making is that appearances can be deceptive.


      When you combine the family story of George William Topping Hutchinson, and add in the comparison of the handwriting with the Ripper letter; that's an interesting set of circumstantial data that promotes the idea Topping was the right man.

      But, on the flip side; if Frederick Gehringer can write a letter "K" very similar to Maybrick's alleged watch, it shows that handwriting can be up for scrutiny.



      RD


      "Great minds, don't think alike"

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
        I think that does matter, especially when taken in combination with other biographical/geographical factors that candidate "X" would share with Dorset Street Hutch.
        The point of the exercise, Sam, would be to see if any two George Hutchinsons, who could have lived a street away from each other in Romford, or many thousands of miles apart, had signatures that appeared to match - as has been argued for dear old Toppy's and that of the murder witness fondly known as 'Hutch'.

        We would then know how common it was for people using the same name to have similar looking signatures. We don't seem to have that kind of data.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

          Did they all live in or around South East London in the late 1880s/early 1890s, have family connections near Romford, and/or marry a girl from Bethnal Green?
          The way I see it, there are many reasons a man might need to go to Romford--and that's all the witness told us.

          It's interesting speculation, and Toppy is an interesting possibility, but since we don't know any of those things actually apply to the witness George Hutchinson, it is tantalizing but it is not strong evidence.

          Pat Marshall and Debrah Arif found two George Hutchinsons who were listed as grooms--one in Shadwell and one in Southwark. There are ways around it, but if we concede that a plumber's apprentice could have been an unemployed groom, then what's stopping us from identifying GW as a gas fitter or a dock worker or other occupations?

          It's entirely vague, I admit--but something about his 'military bearing' and his claim that Kelly addressed him as "Mr. Hutchinson" seems a little off to me when we consider that Toppy was younger and (supposedly as per the witness) dossing in the Victoria Home for Working Men.

          But to each his or her own.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

            The way I see it, there are many reasons a man might need to go to Romford--and that's all the witness told us.

            It's interesting speculation, and Toppy is an interesting possibility, but since we don't know any of those things actually apply to the witness George Hutchinson, it is tantalizing but it is not strong evidence.

            Pat Marshall and Debrah Arif found two George Hutchinsons who were listed as grooms--one in Shadwell and one in Southwark. There are ways around it, but if we concede that a plumber's apprentice could have been an unemployed groom, then what's stopping us from identifying GW as a gas fitter or a dock worker or other occupations?

            It's entirely vague, I admit--but something about his 'military bearing' and his claim that Kelly addressed him as "Mr. Hutchinson" seems a little off to me when we consider that Toppy was younger and (supposedly as per the witness) dossing in the Victoria Home for Working Men.

            But to each his or her own.
            Sorry, but it is extremely strong evidence. it would easily hold up in any court of law.

            But each to his own, as you say. Not least you to your own.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
              Sorry, but it is extremely strong evidence. it would easily hold up in any court of law..

              Seeing the matter would be decided by a jury, and there are always any number of people voicing reasonable doubt about Toppy, this is just chest thumping, Christer.

              And I say this even though I already admitted that Sam Flynn has made some 'strong' arguments, and I think Toppy has a reasonable chance of being the 'real' Hutchinson.

              I just think it's far from conclusive, and if this was a criminal matter I wouldn't vote to 'convict' based on what I've seen. There are reasonable doubts.

              Heck, even your own expert is voicing reasonable doubt, and added some emphatic exclamation marks in his reply which suggests that he was a little irritated at the certainty being overstated.
              Last edited by rjpalmer; 03-05-2024, 05:48 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


                Seeing the matter would be decided by a jury, and there are always any number of people voicing reasonable doubt about Toppy, this is just chest thumping, Christer.

                And I say this even though I already admitted that Sam Flynn has made some 'strong' arguments, and I think Toppy has a reasonable chance of being the 'real' Hutchinson.

                I just think it's far from conclusive, and if this was a criminal matter I wouldn't vote to 'convict' based on what I've seen. There are reasonable doubts.

                Heck, even your own expert is voicing reasonable doubt, and added some emphatic exclamation marks in his reply which suggests that he was a little irritated at the certainty being overstated.
                You don´t have to tell me that the case is strong, R J. I knew that already.

                As for your reasoning about Leander, that is completely wrong. What you call reasonable doubt on bhis behalf was never anything but a lack of enough signatures from the witness. So it was never about any doubt as such on Leanders behalf, it was about how a legally viable verdict could not be passed on the lacking material. As such, that of course means that no certainty can be had, but what we KNOW we have is two very similar signatures from two men who used the exact same name. And that is enough for any jury.
                Far from being irritated with me, Leander was irritated with Bens antics, and said that he did not like it when people were being intentionally malicious. If you remember, I was the one speaking with him, and you are the one producing guesswork about it. Maybe you should give that some afterthought before thinking your musings are the better source.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                  Wrong. The name similarity very much belongs to the answer. No smoke screen can dissolve that fact. We have two (2) similarities, the names and the writing styles. And as I pointed out before, they are both essential to close the case.

                  You repeat what I already told you when saying that name correlation is not evidence of the same person. Of course it is not. And of course, nobody is saying that it is, making your point moot. What I am saying is that if we find that two people who have the same name MAY be the same person, then checking this by way of a writing style comparison is a very good way to go about it. Once we get a hit there, we have a closed case.

                  You also repeat what I have already said many times, that Leander said that the material he got was too small to give a full expert opinion. What needs to be added to this is that even if the two signatures had been exactly alike, involving very odd things and the exact same pressure applied to the pen, Leander would still not be able to say anything more than that it is a hit on the lower end of the scale. That does not boil down to the signatures being in any way dissimilar, it instead boils down to the legal requirements for a comparison, stating that there must be at least ten examples of each persons writing, and we only have the signature in the witnesses case. But as I have pointed out, Leander was able to tell that he expected that any forthcoming material would only strengthen the case. In other words, a document examiner may feel totally convinced that he is correct, but he cannot say that he is as long as he does not have the required amount of material to legally argue the case.

                  And how do you treat all of this? Answer: You treat it by saying that I should not elevate myself to expert status. Which was the exact thing I never did What I did was instead was to take the matter as far as it can be taken, I contacted a man who IS an expert and who gave his opinion, adding professionally that it was not a FULL expert opinion. This you turn into saying that it was no expert opinion at all.

                  Good to know how you reason, Jeff!
                  Hi Fisherman,

                  As you wish. Clearly we have different views on how things should be approached that will not reconcile.

                  "...You treat it by saying that I should not elevate myself to expert status. ..."

                  However, I did not say you were elevating yourself to expert status, I was simply pointing out that none of us, myself included, should elevate ourselves to expert status (specifically here in terms of handwriting). It was a generalized statement, that you agree with, not a point aimed at you specifically.

                  Also, I will reproduce the closing quote again, pointing to another key phrase as to how we are to view his reply:

                  "In conclusion, you must see this as a spontaneous, personal comment from me and not as a full expert opinion, since such things cannot be done from a material like this!" (bold and underling added by me for emphasis).

                  He is specifically stating it is not an expert opinion, full or otherwise, but a "spontaneous, personal comment", no more, no less. Yes, he has knowledge in the area, but his expertise also tells him that he cannot offer that degree of opinion, and we therefore should not view it as if he has.

                  - Jeff​

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                    Hi Fisherman,

                    As you wish. Clearly we have different views on how things should be approached that will not reconcile.

                    "...You treat it by saying that I should not elevate myself to expert status. ..."

                    However, I did not say you were elevating yourself to expert status, I was simply pointing out that none of us, myself included, should elevate ourselves to expert status (specifically here in terms of handwriting). It was a generalized statement, that you agree with, not a point aimed at you specifically.

                    Also, I will reproduce the closing quote again, pointing to another key phrase as to how we are to view his reply:

                    "In conclusion, you must see this as a spontaneous, personal comment from me and not as a full expert opinion, since such things cannot be done from a material like this!" (bold and underling added by me for emphasis).

                    He is specifically stating it is not an expert opinion, full or otherwise, but a "spontaneous, personal comment", no more, no less. Yes, he has knowledge in the area, but his expertise also tells him that he cannot offer that degree of opinion, and we therefore should not view it as if he has.

                    - Jeff​
                    Just very short: An expert can and will give an experts opinion. It may not be a FULL expert opinion, but an expert opinion it is nevertheless Wjhat did you think it was? A laymans opinion?

                    If it was not an expert opinion at all, why would he qualify by speaking of a full expert opinion? Because he did not have the required material to give such an opinion.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                      Just very short: An expert can and will give an experts opinion. It may not be a FULL expert opinion, but an expert opinion it is nevertheless Wjhat did you think it was? A laymans opinion?

                      If it was not an expert opinion at all, why would he qualify by speaking of a full expert opinion? Because he did not have the required material to give such an opinion.
                      An expert can give expert opinions or if they do not have time or the materials to perform the analysis required to form that opinion they may offer a "spontaneous personal comment", out of curtesy (obviously, they aren't going to do that if asked to speak in a court, but during a conversation, sure). We have the latter, a "spontaneous personal comment." He also explains that he provides that level of comment because, as he states, he did not have adequate or sufficient material to perform an analysis that would allow him to make an expert opinion.

                      He's very clear and specific about all of that.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        An expert can give expert opinions or if they do not have time or the materials to perform the analysis required to form that opinion they may offer a "spontaneous personal comment", out of curtesy (obviously, they aren't going to do that if asked to speak in a court, but during a conversation, sure). We have the latter, a "spontaneous personal comment." He also explains that he provides that level of comment because, as he states, he did not have adequate or sufficient material to perform an analysis that would allow him to make an expert opinion.

                        He's very clear and specific about all of that.

                        - Jeff
                        Yes, an experts opinion may be based on more or less full material. The examination may be more or less thouroughly conducted. But it is nevertheless an experts opinion that is then given.

                        What you said was that Leanders comment was NOT an expert opinion.

                        And that is just plain wrong.

                        Frank Leander is a renowned expert. I asked him if was willing to look at and give his opinion about whether or not the two signatures I provided were likely or not to be of the same hand. His opinion was that they were similar. He added that due to the fact that there was only one example of the witness signature, he was no able to grade it higher on the scale experts use than at the lowwer end of the scale. He said that althiough he only had one signature of the witness and therefore had to put the hit at the lower end of the scale (which is neverthless an indication of the same originator), he felt that any forthcoming evidence would strenghten the suggestion of a common originator.
                        So he IS an expert, he GAVE his opinion and he added that although he could not make the kind of full examination he would have been able to if he had ten examples of both signatures, he felt that any forthcoming evidence would strengthen the case of a single originator.

                        So we have a renowned expert indicating that the originators of the two signatures was the same man, and we have the fact that these two men signed themselves by the same name. And whether you disagree or not, that is game over for any suggestion - made by people who absolutely NOT are experts! - of two originators who just happened to carry or use the same name and write in the same style.

                        If we want to return to basics behind the smokescreens, it applies that a document examiner took a look at the signatures and said that they seemed to be by the same hand, and that the names on the signatures were also the same. And that leaves us where we were from the beginning: the possibility that two signatures in the same kind of handwriting and using the same name, are not by the same hand, is very remote. Once we add in that the comparison is done is because the son of the originator of the comparison material claims that his father has said that he WAS the originator of the material that is compared to, we reach the final station of the line. Becasue we ask ourselves: ”Was he really? Well, let us compare the two mens signatures and see!”

                        Once we get that process started, it applies that statistically speaking, the two signatures should - if we have two different originators - be very clearly dissimilar, the way signatures are when two originators are involved. The likelihood of them being so much alike that a document examiner says that the are seemingly by the same hand, is incredibly small, virtually non-existent.

                        And that is where we are at. Which is also where we began. And where we will end.
                        Last edited by Fisherman; 03-06-2024, 07:47 AM.

                        Comment


                        • There is of course another factor involved when it comes to why Frank Leander was unable to give a full experts opinion: what he got was two pictures of signatures, taken from the net. Ideally, the document examiner is given the real signatures, on the piece of paper where twy were originally written. That offers the possibility to look not only at the style of writing but also at the kind of pressure the writer applied. And that is a very important factor, not least when telling a falsification from the real deal. But it can of course also help to confirm an examiners impression of a common originator of two signatures; if not only the style is similar but also the pressure applied and the slanting of the pen and so on, then that contributes to give the full picture that Leander could never offer.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                            An expert can give expert opinions or if they do not have time or the materials to perform the analysis required to form that opinion they may offer a "spontaneous personal comment", out of curtesy (obviously, they aren't going to do that if asked to speak in a court, but during a conversation, sure). We have the latter, a "spontaneous personal comment."
                            Hi Jeff,

                            Agreed.

                            Yes, Leander is an expert, but it is his expert opinion that he can't really know the 'worth' of his expert opinion unless he has more data!

                            He states as much in plain Swedish.

                            "But once again: It is not until you have an original material with a sufficient number of signatures to compare that you can tell what the indications are worth!"

                            In other words, his 'opinion' is provisional.

                            It's also interesting to note that the more competent the expert, the more likely they are to express 'probabilities' rather than certainties.

                            This may be frustrating for some people, but it is a fact.

                            There have been surprisingly few empirical studies undertaken to test the accuracy and legitimacy of handwriting analysis. One of the few (actually, the only one I know of) is discussed in the link below, from an article that appeared year or so ago in the Scientific American.

                            Note that the more experienced the analysist, the more likely he or she was to speak of 'probable' matches rather than 'certain' matches. They knew their own limitations.

                            And note that nearly half of the experts got it wrong at least once, so the claim that it is "virtually impossible" for a misattribution to occur is grossly exaggerated.

                            Still, the study's results were largely positive: experienced experts usually did get it right, or at least they were able to accurately determine which samples were 'probably' by the same person.

                            This suggests that it is not, as some claim, a 'junk' science.

                            Still, commonsense would seem to dictate that the more stylized and idiosyncratic a person's handwriting is, the easier it is to recognize.

                            Unfortunately, the witness Hutchinson doesn't appear to have very distinctive handwriting, compared to someone like W.H. Bury or Neil Cream who both had weird and unusual styles. Wouldn't that rather complicate matters?


                            Forensic Experts Are Surprisingly Good at Telling whether Two Writing Samples Match | Scientific American

                            Stay sane,

                            RP​

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                              Hi Jeff,

                              Agreed.

                              Yes, Leander is an expert, but it is his expert opinion that he can't really know the 'worth' of his expert opinion unless he has more data!

                              He states as much in plain Swedish.

                              "But once again: It is not until you have an original material with a sufficient number of signatures to compare that you can tell what the indications are worth!"

                              In other words, his 'opinion' is provisional.

                              It's also interesting to note that the more competent the expert, the more likely they are to express 'probabilities' rather than certainties.

                              This may be frustrating for some people, but it is a fact.

                              There have been surprisingly few empirical studies undertaken to test the accuracy and legitimacy of handwriting analysis. One of the few (actually, the only one I know of) is discussed in the link below, from an article that appeared year or so ago in the Scientific American.

                              Note that the more experienced the analysist, the more likely he or she was to speak of 'probable' matches rather than 'certain' matches. They knew their own limitations.

                              And note that nearly half of the experts got it wrong at least once, so the claim that it is "virtually impossible" for a misattribution to occur is grossly exaggerated.

                              Still, the study's results were largely positive: experienced experts usually did get it right, or at least they were able to accurately determine which samples were 'probably' by the same person.

                              This suggests that it is not, as some claim, a 'junk' science.

                              Still, commonsense would seem to dictate that the more stylized and idiosyncratic a person's handwriting is, the easier it is to recognize.

                              Unfortunately, the witness Hutchinson doesn't appear to have very distinctive handwriting, compared to someone like W.H. Bury or Neil Cream who both had weird and unusual styles. Wouldn't that rather complicate matters?


                              Forensic Experts Are Surprisingly Good at Telling whether Two Writing Samples Match | Scientific American

                              Stay sane,

                              RP​
                              Which is exactly what I am saying - although Leanders impression is that the originator is the same, the material would not go to conclude it legally. We DO know, however, that Leander expects any forthcoming new material to further strengthen the correlation, mesning, basically, that going on what he has, he thinks it is most likely a match.

                              In the grand scheme of things, it matters not one iot how much doubt you think can be conjured up. When this discussion originated, many years back, the criticism levelled against my suggestion that we have the same originator, was along the lines that the two signatures were incredibly and totally dissimilar. I rejoice in how that whopper has been left to mould on the discussion table. We now all seem to agree that the signatures are similar(which they of course always were, with or without Bens contribution), and so the case made for a common originator must be regarded as a strong one. In my, and others, case, it would stand up in court. Others are less optimistic. But at the end of the day, nobody can realistically deny that the case is strong. I will leave it at that.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                                When this discussion originated, many years back, the criticism levelled against my suggestion that we have the same originator...
                                My memory might not be 100% accurate, but I seem to recall that I opened up that particular can of worms. I had been publicly supportive of the "JTR=Hutch" theory, until I found that the document I'd previously used to dismiss Toppy was only a copy of his marriage certificate, not the original. It was only when I saw the real certificate, with Toppy's actual signature, that I was hit by the striking similarities between it and those on the witness statement, and produced a series of comparative montages to support my point.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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